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Synchrotrons and accelerating particles

  1. Jun 13, 2014 #1
    1. in synchrotrons; as i understand, particles are only accelerated along the straight sections by an electric field established by electrodes. in my textbook, it says "a high frequency alternating voltage is applied between electrodes positioned around the ring which accelerates the charged particles to high energies". so my question is: would this alternating voltage be constant? Surely its frequency would need to increase in order to account for decreased flight time?

    the idea is that there are curved sections of the synchrotron, and in order to keep particles in their tracks along these, a magnetic force is provided by electromagnets: BQv = m(v
    2)/r. in the straight sections, the charged particles are accelerated by an electric field so velocity increases, therefore Q must also increase. Would the increase in velocity result in a decrease in time taken for the particle to travel between the straight sections such that the frequency of the alternating voltage applied between electrodes at the straight sections would need to increase.

    NB: the electrodes at the straight sections are pairs/groups of drift tubes: the alternating voltage is applied to every other drift tube such that the electrons are always attracted towards the next one.

    I am not really sure how much to assume people know about what I am going on about, so please let me know if this is all v unclear.
    many thanks in advance :smile:
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2014 #2


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    Welcome to PF!

    I have moved your thread from the Homework & Coursework area to the General Physics area, since it is (apparently) not a request for homework help.

    Particles in synchrotrons typically move close to the speed of light, so do not speed up appreciably and the constant frequency can remain in synch with the particles.
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